Hitchcock and His Music

Even if you have not seen Psycho, this music must ring vaguely familiar. For me, this is the ultimate example of the importance of musical scoring in the motion pictures. And no more do I feel the impact of the score then when I watch the films of one of my favorite directors, Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

13 years ago (goodness, me!) I had the pleasure of visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and going to the Alfred Hitchcock exhibition, its arrival coinciding with the auteur’s centenary.

Among my mementos of the trip were a museum print and a compact disk, Alfred Hitchcock: Music from his Films. All these years later, the music from this CD still gets constant rotation on my iPod.

While the composer most closely aligned with Hitchcock is Bernard Herrmann, over his career he also collaborated with the likes of Miklós Rózsa, Franz Waxman and John Williams. Here is a really cool interview in which Williams talks about his collaboration with Hitchcock:

Although this music is not on the disk, I thought it was just lovely; it is a score by Neil Brand, which he composed to accompany the British Film Institute’s restoration of Hitchcock’s 1929 film Blackmail.

I close with the words of Bernard Herrmann himself, talking about music and its importance in cinema.

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